My crosswords are cryptic and where possible draw on the solver’s linguistic resources rather than specialist knowledge about the world. Personally I dislike having to Google, say, the entire works of an Italian composer who happens to feature in a setter’s record collection. I do not claim always to succeed; but where an answer involves something esoteric you can be reasonably sure I was painted into a corner by the surrounding clues. Other bugbears of mine include enormous anagrams which occupy half the grid; and not numbering the squares – although that may be because I am not clever enough to solve them. The perfect clue is a highly compressed short story in which the definition is disguised and the syntax artful.

I shall post crosswords from time to time in the hope someone out there responds.  Determining the level of difficulty is very hard: when you know the answers the whole thing looks like a giveaway. But my guess is the puzzles featured here would stump a beginner and not detain an expert solver for very long. If you regard yourself as fitting between these extremes they may pose a tricky but not insurmountable challenge. If I am wrong about this please let me know. The whole idea is to produce something soluble – to let the solver win, in other words, after the expense of some effort. If you are like me the satisfaction comes from being baffled for a while before the penny drops. One feels pleasure at solving things quickly but cheated of the pain.

If you would like to attempt a crossword please print the page if that will make it easier. When you are finished, or hopelessly stuck, click Show Crossword Answers under the clues. Use the contact page to let me know you think. Good luck!